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Pesto

This is undoubtedly the most famous Ligurian condiment in the world, used to season main courses: from soft potato gnocchi, trofiette and lasagne, to simple trenette with potatoes and green beans. The main ingredient in the preparation of traditional pesto is basil, widely cultivated in the western region of Liguria and in the towns of the Beigua Riviera. The bright green leaves, whose inimitable flavour is influenced by the sea air, are mixed with garlic, pine nuts and coarse salt followed by Parmigiano Reggiano and Sardinian pecorino, and all the ingredients are then blended with extra virgin olive oil from the Ligurian Riviera.

Preparation: tradition requires that all the ingredients are ground in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle and are added gradually, while the circular movements of the pestle blend them into a creamy paste. There are many recipes for pesto: each family hands down, from generation to generation, the ratio of the various ingredients and the order in which they are added; this is why it is impossible to find two identical pesto recipes. However, it is very important to prepare the pesto quickly before the basil leaves begin to oxidize.
Included in the National and Regional lists of Traditional Products


Pesto
Pesto
(photo by PR Beigua)
 
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IUCNUNESCOGGNEGNEuroparcFederparchiMinistero dell'AmbienteParchi di Liguria